So, I confessed publicly yesterday on Facebook that I am quite the Halloween grinch. I don't really like this holiday at all, and my dislike for it keeps growing with every year. For the last couple years, Kirk and I have turned off the front-porch light and holed up in our bedroom to watch our two favorite Halloween-themed movies: It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and To Kill a Mockingbird. (Don't you just love those movies??)
I'm not one of those people who grew up hearing about the evils of Halloween. That's not where this is coming from.
Rather, I grew up trick or treating like everyone else, usually dressed as a cheerleader, a 50s girl with a poodle skirt and saddle shoes, a Southern belle, or even an angel. I loved the chance to get a pillowcase full of free candy, especially since I've always had quite the sweet tooth. My sister and I would venture out into the night and go door to door around several blocks in the neighborhood, then return home at the end of the night for the very best part: dumping our booty on the living room carpet to begin the sorting and exchanging of treats, alongside our older brother Bobby.
In high school, I visited a few of the local haunted houses like everyone else. These were the ones that turned out to be evangelistic efforts by local churches intent on scaring people into salvation from hell. Rather than inclining me toward God, those experiences did nothing more than make me feel frustrated and betrayed. I knew that life with God was about so much more than escaping the fires of hell, and I resented the scare tactics used by people who, I felt, presented a distorted view of my God.
Sometime in college, I remember hearing stories from a friend about the places she knew near her home where sacrifices and other acts of real evil took place on Halloween night. That was my first exposure to the dark side that really exists for some people on Halloween. But even though hearing those stories impacted me and still come to mind from time to time when I think about this holiday, it's not been a particular preoccupation for me when October rolls around every year.
To be honest, I'm not really sure what causes the discomfort for me on this night. I only know that when the conversations about Halloween begin each October, I find myself trying to skirt those conversations as deftly as I can. I don't want to be invited to costume parties. I don't want to pass out candy to little kids. And I really don't want to attend a Halloween Horror Night or haunted mansion.
I told Kirk last night that I'm not really sure what this is all about for me. He said something quite perceptive: "I think it's because you have a really sensitive spirit. As you keep growing more and more sensitive in your spiritual journey, the spiritual nature of the world around you also increases." Wow. Smart man, he is.
So there you have it: my anti-Halloween post for today. What is Halloween like for you?